Picks and Pans Review: Gold Fever
Today, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan might say they suffered from "irrational exuberance," like the mad bulls of the stock market. A hundred years ago their condition was called gold fever. Tens of thousands of Americans—many of them urban tenderfeet with no idea what dangers and hardships awaited them—joined the stampede to Canada's frozen Klondike to mine the precious metal that was reportedly there for the taking. The operative phrase was "get rich quick."
Using evocative original music, prospectors' letters home, a wealth of photographs (the program notes that camera sales were starting to boom in those days) and interviews with historians (including that irrepressible Canadian Pierre Berton), this modest but highly valuable documentary presents its gold rush story as a testament to man's folly, endurance and eternal optimism.
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